South India: A Slice of Paradise
The North of India is notorious for being crazy, polluted, and overall makes for an intense experience. The South of India welcomes backpackers to sunny beaches, alcohol sales after weeks of sobriety, and a general calming feeling that the North is missing out on. We skipped around the coast line hitting beaches in GOA, Kerala, Pondicherry, and even Mumbai. The beaches were great.. even if they don’t compare to Thailand’s crystal blue waters– but not many beaches do match up to the Thai Islands! India’s beaches offered me my first and probably last experience sharing the beach with a herd of cows, wild dogs, and the occasional monkey. Only in India would I be laying out on the beach trying to work on my tan lines and a cow would wonder over and block the sun’s rays!
We spent a few weeks in the South soaking up Vitamin-D, we certainly didn’t make it to all the beaches.. but here were our favorites!
1. Varkala: We feasted on fresh catch of the day tuna and red snapper fish every night for $4.00, we were mesmerized at the electric sunset over the beach every night, and glared down the cliff’s steep drop-off to the shore line far below where the waves were constantly battering into the cliff’s side. It’s easily one of my favorite places in all of India, so beautiful & laid-back.
2. Palolem: Hundreds of palm trees line the crested beach leaning towards the Arabian Sea, fighting for a spot in the sunlight making for a beautiful, picture-perfect beach. We stayed in one of the many small bamboo huts lining the beach, we woke up at 9am and were swimming in the sea by 9:02. The warm sand was a mere 15 steps from the side of our bed. Our own slice of paradise.
3. Anjuna: We spent the days cruising to different beaches on our moped in between palm trees that seemed to go up and up forever. We finished off our lazy beach days with parties at the ocean-side restaurants where everyone’s ready for a good time. Watching the cows and dogs fight eachother for a spot on the beach was priceless, only in India!
4. Candolim: A short moped ride from Anjuna beach, this beach is famous for a huge Indian oil tanker that washed ashore. It’s close enough to walk out to, Rhys tried to climb up the side of the tanker on an old ladder before he got whistled ashore. Definitely a strange site to see, but well worth it!